Sinn Féin makes submission on new Rural Development Programme
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Martin Ferris has submitted a detailed submission as part of the government’s consultation process in preparation for a new Rural Development Programme for Ireland beginning in 2014.
The new programme, which will be jointly funded by the EU and the Irish state, will be an integral part of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy which is due to be signed off on later this year.
Deputy Ferris said;
“Sinn Féin is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to what we hope will be a genuine and wide-ranging consultation. We are also pleased to be able to echo many of the views of the large number of groups and individuals with whom we have met over the last year as part of a wide ranging engagement by our party with rural communities.
“Central to a new Rural Development Plan will be the reformed CAP which we hope, both through a fairer system of direct payments and through the Pillar II schemes tied to guardianship of the environment, will sustain family farming.
“As we point out in our submission, agriculture remains the largest indigenous economic sector and is central to the overall rural economy. As such it can play a key role in reinvigorating the overall economy and stimulating growth.
“In order to assist that it is vital that the Rural Development Programme focusses on local enterprise and innovation and we believe that the most effective way to do that will be through a renewed and expanded LEADER programme. LEADER has made a valuable contribution to rural community enterprise in the past and can continue to do so with expanded involvement and greater democratic control at local level.”